I'm hoping someone might have an idea or two for me.
My daughter is 6 year old. She has ALWAYS been really sensitive and compassionate beyond her years. Most of the time, this is a good thing. But for the last 2 years or so, every once in a while (ie, every three months or so), she will come to me and complain about just feeling sad. She doesn't ever have an explanation for it, but she'll be in tears and pretty inconsolable. When this happens, I've tried several things--from offering her a good cry while I snuggle her, to recently explaining relaxation techniques to her (deep breathing, essentially) and that usually quickly calms her down. In fact, she snaps out of it quite quickly--she'll go from crying to a normal voice saying "hey mommy, did you know..." or something.
Since we know her temperment is like this, we've been pretty careful about what we let her see/hear/read. Unfortunately, things still slip through. Last night, she cried for over an hour because she saw on the front page of the paper a story about a man named Alex (the same name as my fiance, whom she adores) drowning in a local pond. An hour after I put her to bed, she came to me sobbing and saying "bad thoughts kept buzzing around" her head and wouldn't let her sleep. I got her her to settle down, but her language worries me a bit. She's said before that the "sad and bad Samantha's" in her head won't be quiet, so she can't sleep. She's also recently been complaining of her stomach feeling funny--not sick, but "wavey".
Now, she has gone through a lot of pretty stressful events the past few years. Her dad & I broke up 4 years ago, I became engaged, and I also have a newborn son. Her father and I are still very good friends--it is a very amicable split, even my fiance and him are friends. He has thanksgiving dinner with us, even. So her dad and I have always been very open and have talked with her about things, and have ALWAYS encouraged her to talk about the situation, especially if we think something is bothering her. She does not seem phased about her new brother--she loves him dearly and loves to help out with him. But I still wonder if some of the more recent escalation of her stress levels are because of all this.
I don't know...I've been considering taking her to a counselor, just for someone to talk to besides her dad or I. She is very senstive to hurting our feelings, so I worry that if she won't say certain things to us because of this. When she started kindergarten last year, her dad & I sat down with the guidance counselor and told her about our situation and all the changes that Sam would be going through, so that she could alert us if anyone at the school noticed anything, but they always said Sam seemed to be very very well adjusted.
I don't know what else to say, and the baby is screeching, so I guess I'm just wondering if anyone has any advice? Again, she's ALWAYS been very sensitive and almost overly compassionate, but I just don't know when a red flag should be raised, you know?
Thanks for reading if you got this far.